History   

Initially established as a Home for Masonic orphans and later expanded to encompass needy children from a myriad of backgrounds, the Illinois Masonic Fraternity is proud of its heritage.  Masons throughout the State of Illinois continue to support this charitable cause in their effort to care for the less fortunate in our society.

 

The Illinois Masonic Children's Home was incorporated by the Illinois Secretary of State on March 11, 1885.  Once the incorporation was complete and funding established, the first Home was opened in the city of Chicago on Carroll Avenue and Sheldon Street in the year of 1886.  Four children took up residency at that time.

 

Before long it was evident that more space was needed and in 1909 the Fraternity approved expanding the Home and a move was made to the Chicago suburb of LaGrange.  The Home in LaGrange was constructed on a four acre site, and in March, 1911 seventy-eight children took up residency at that location.  That facility was indeed a huge structure, caring for as many as 314 children in 1931.  The Home featured large dormitory-style sleeping arrangements, a commercial print shop, library, a large dining area, and even had its own skating rink.  It could truly be described as a turn of the century orphanage.

 

By the early 1960s the population of the Home had dramatically decreased and the leadership of the Fraternity once again sensed the need for a change.  Thus, on June 2, 1963 the cornerstone for the present LaGrange facility was laid.  The campus in LaGrange is home to 38 children and sits on a nine acre site.

 

In January, 2004 the Masonic Fraternity of the State of Illinois took another step in their commitment to serving needy children with the opening of a second Home in downstate Illinois.  Located in the City of Murphysboro, this second facility sits on a three acre campus.  The facility is home to 24 children.  The campus consists of an administrative building, three residential cottages, and playground areas.  It's small town setting near the City of Carbondale and Southern Illinois University offers many growth-enhancing opportunities.

 

For more than a century, the Masonic Fraternity of Illinois has continued its commitment in caring for needy children. 

       

       The First Children's Home  c.1886

 

 

       

             The LaGrange Home  c. 1911

 

 

     

      The LaGrange Administration Building

 

 

         

      A Residential Cottage at Murphysboro